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Indoor Playground (Doubling as Lecture Hall) of Yueyang County No.3 Middle School


    The project is located in Yueyang county, Hunan Province in China. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Yueyang County No.3 Middle School, the client decide to sponsor a new indoor playground doubling as a lecture hall with the purpose of creating better sports space and invigorating the regularly planned campus.

    The newly-built indoor playground lies at the southwest corner of the campus, where there’s a altitude difference between the main teaching area and an existing outdoor playground. The difference was bridged merely with a rubble stone retaining wall and some narrow stairs, to the disadvantage of both accessibility and safety.

    Instead of sitting simply at the lower or higher part, the building stretches across the altitude difference rather than rests on the higher or lower part of the site, thus forming a natural link between the main teaching area and the playground.

    The main space of the indoor playground lies at the higher part of the site, facing the main teaching building. Its jagged form has been inspired by the silhouette of Yueyang highlands. The activity space, which lies at the lower part of site can be accessed from the front square through the curved steps, which can serve as grandstands when needed. Sports equipment room, washrooms and the outdoor areas has been designed integrally, forming an intimate space with curved forms and local red bricks. 

    Yueyang is located in the hot-summer and cold-winter climate zone in China, where the weather is humid and rainy all year round. Natural ventilation and lighting serve as major sustainable strategies to improve thermal comfort and reduce the cost of equipment and maintenance. The integration design approach takes form, space and sustainable strategies into consideration simultaneously.

    A skylight renders the ambience of the rostrum, and the space above the rostrum is heightened to accommodate a rainproof air-vent on the inclined façade wihout mechanical appliances.

    An array of operable doors at the bottom of southern and northern facades can boost natural ventilation, reduce humidity and improve thermal comfort.

    A narrow alley is planned between the campus’s southern wall and buildings along the wall. In summer, the wall’s shade cools the air before it enters the building. Ample skylights on the jagged roof can provide enough natural light even in rainy weathers, while louvers on the jags take away the heat.

    Cast-in-situ methods and prefabrications have been both applied in the construction to alleviate the impact on the campus. At the lower part, the rubble stone retaining wall has been extended, while the construction was done through on-site construction with reinforced concrete and red bricks. At the upper part, the main space was built with prefabricated steelwork envelopes and roofs.

    The neat work of red bricks, with characteristics of artisan craftsmanship, is designed integrally with industrial building parts, offsetting the monotony of an industrialized building with its sense of artistry and freedom. For instance, ventilation openings on the red brick walls are formed through traditional neat work, and the images of 12 zodiacs emerge on the wall through thoughtfully designed unevenness of the wall.

    The color and pattern of the main building resembles the abstraction of Yueyang’s topography, as well as the distribution of its mountains and waters, providing the students with more fun and interaction through the power of design.


2019 | WAN 2019 Awards/ Color in Architecture/ Gold
2019 | Iconic Awards 2019/ Winner in Public/ Culture/ Education
2020 | AZ AWARDS 2020/ Architecture: Buildings Under 1000 SqM/ Award of Merit+People's Choice
2019 | World Architecture Festival/ Shortlist in Completed Buildings: Sport/ Finalist